Small Nameless Moments

It’s a clear, cold February morning with fresh snow on the ground, and seeing our familiar neighborhoods, front yards, trees, and towns covered in white is undeniably a pretty beautiful sight.

At the same time, I’m one those who are prone to an annual winter doldroms funk—so I’m getting antsy and ready to shed my proverbial cocoon of heavy textures, bulky clothes, and home clutter for clean slates, bare arms, and open windows.

In my book, winter always kind of overstays its welcome in the final weeks of the season, and I crave sunshine and warmer days. Intermittently, we’ll get teased with an uncharacteristically warm day that convinces us we can see spring on the horizon—where the grass is literally greener on the other side—only for our spring-loving spirits to get demolished by another onslaught of gray, sub-zero, overcast days. The agony.

This all might be just slightly melodramatic, but these cold final weeks of winter are such a trial of patience for me, and while it’s not to the degree of seasonal affective disorder, I just struggle to find motivation, inspiration, and my metaphorical mojo around this time every year. And then predictably, as spring makes its triumphant return, suddenly Stella gets her groove back!

This is something I’ve been working on.

Because I realize, whether it’s a few weeks or just a few days, it’s too long to take for granted or just “suffer through.”

Too often, I think we wish days away looking forward to Friday, to girls night, to vacation, to a break from our day-to-day. We write down dates to look forward to in our agendas (or am I the only one still hopelessly co-dependent on her agenda?) and merely survive the days in between. Sometimes, we get to a point where looking forward to those “special” days is the only thing that gets us through those days in between, not realizing that the “days in between” are really where the meat is at.

I think we (well *I* but I’m lumping you guys in with me because, as the one with the keyboard right now, I have the authority to do that 😉 ) need to challenge ourselves (fine, myself) to remember the importance of gratitude in the mundane. Every day I’m granted has a purpose. Every hum-drum Tuesday is a wonderful opportunity to make the most of my life in the small moments. (Okay, if this post was any cheesier, I’d eat it.)

Corny clichés aside, what we’re getting at is that gratitude, as we all know, is a key ingredient to happiness, and we need to remember to practice it—by taking time to step back and appreciate (and fall in love with) your life and being truly grateful for “the season we’re in,” literally and figuratively.

In retail, enjoying the literal season you’re in can really be a bit of a challenge because of the nature of the job and the necessity of far-in-advance preparation. You spend your winter planning, ordering, and stocking for spring; you spend your spring planning, ordering, and stocking for summer and fall; and you spend the glorious fall months knee-deep in Christmas stuff.

So we’re placing a more adamant focus on mindfulness and being present. That includes striving to really appreciate and be grateful for these late winter weeks—and not just through the lens of the relative struggle of it all or the suffering-being-imperative-for-joy adage, (i.e., “without sadness, we wouldn’t know happiness,” “winter helps us to be thankful for spring”)—but instead to really be grateful for the season on its own merit.

Now, I’ll leave you with a montage of quotes that capture that exact sentiment in just a fraction of the words I had to use to accomplish the same, lol. Feel free to screenshot or save them as reminders.

Enjoy, friends, and cheers to February!